Hungarian qualifier Fabian Marozsan produced the biggest shock of the ATP season so far as he pulled off a stunning 6-3, 7-6(4) win over second seed Carlos Alcaraz in the third round of the Italian Open on Monday afternoon.
Marozsan, a 23-year-old Hungarian ranked No 135, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Alcaraz since July 2021. Until he came through the qualifying draw in Rome and defeated No 67 Corentin Moutet, Marozsan had never won an ATP match.
He had additionally arrived in Rome in poor form. Although Marozsan won an ATP challenger on clay in March, he started the tournament having lost five of his previous six matches. Alcaraz, meanwhile, had a 30-2 record in 2022 after tournament wins in Barcelona and Madrid and he will return to No 1 in the ATP rankings next week.
“I’m very, very happy. I can’t imagine this one. It was my dream last night,” said Marozsan.
On his first appearance on any major stadium court, Marozsan approached the most hyped and in-form player on the tour without fear or favour. From the very beginning, Marozsan served precisely and controlled the baseline, forcing Alcaraz back with consistent aggression and his sweet two-handed backhand while offering the Spaniard a taste of his own medicine: a constant stream of winning drop shots.
As Marozsan commanded the opening set, Alcaraz desperately struggled to find his range. He continued to spray unforced errors, eventually falling down a set and a break. But Alcaraz fought hard, retrieving the break at 3-4 by landing returns and finding greater consistency, and he eventually forced a tiebreak.
Just as it seemed that Alcaraz had steadied himself, establishing a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak, Marozsan exploded. The Hungarian won the final six points of the match with an array of absurd winners from difficult defensive positions. He attacked until the end, forcing a final forehand error from Alcaraz as he completed the victory of his life.
“I just tried to do something special, win a few games and maybe a set,” he said. “I just beat the world number one, he’s the best in our sport, so I’m really happy with this.”
Adblock test (Why?)